Martin Molnár was preparing for the FIA World Karting Championship in Sarno, where he competed in the fourth round of the ACI Italian Championship in the OKJ category. It was not an easy task for the HUMDA Academy driver, as the majority of the field, like him, were World Championship contenders and there were quite a few heated battles. He was pushed out in all three heats and in the Prefinal he injured his rib, which caused him to miss the final. His fastest laps in the races showed that his preparation for the World Championships had gone well.
The FIA World Karting Championships will be held from 15-18 September in Sarno, near Naples, where the last official race was held three weeks before the championships. For the fourth round of the ACI Italian championship, a special category was created for the OKJ field to test their skills in a preparatory test race.
The majority of the 55-strong OKJ field was thus made up of those preparing for the World Championship. Martin Molnár, who competed with the help of HUMDA Hungarian Automobile-Motorsport and Green Mobility Development Agency Zrt. In qualifying, he set the fastest lap without any wind, finishing second in his group by seven hundredths of a second and fourth overall.
His speed was also evident during the three Heats, with the fastest lap by far (more than two tenths of a second) in the third. Unfortunately, he was unable to convert this into a result as he was knocked out in all three races. He came up to second place in the first heat, then only took a minor crash and was able to bring his kart in fourth.
He dropped back to 21st and 23rd in the second and third heats after being pushed out, from there he fought his way up to 11th and 10th.
The Heats were nevertheless a success, as the Energy Corse Racing Karts team tried out several set-ups, the experience of which will be put to good use in the FIA World Championship.
The track has been partially resurfaced since the last WSK race, but the quality has deteriorated, with a lot of unevenness, which throws the kart in the corners, putting more side load on the drivers. Martin Molnár’s rib was injured here a month ago, and although it was repaired for this race, the poor quality of the asphalt has injured it again. In the Prefinal he sensed that there would be a problem, so to avoid a more serious injury he did not compete in the Final.
“My pace was very good,” said Martin Molnár, “The settings worked well and I was already very confident and fast in qualifying. Unfortunately, I was pushed out three times in the Heats, but after that I was at a good pace and gained many positions.
They couldn’t fix the asphalt on the track, which put more pressure on my ribs and I could feel them hurting in the Prefinal. So we decided not to start in the Final to speed up my recovery.
I’m a bit disappointed, I wanted to get a good result, but we came here to test, we managed to do that, we’re ready for the World Championship, and now my ribs just need to recover.”
Martin Molnár, OKJ results
Qualifying Group: 2nd
Overall after qualifying: 4th
A – D Heat: 4th place.
B – D Heat race: 11th place
C – D qualifying: 10th place
Overall after the heats: 11th
Final: DNS due to injury